Diary/Photo Journal

Week of August 17, 2003

We left St. Louis with the intention of heading straight for Louisville, Kentucky and Churchill Downs (Kentucky Derby country); however, we got pleasantly sidetracked while in Indiana.  You know those rest stop facilities that have all those tourist brochures you usually ignore?  Well, one caught my eye and the place happened to be right on our way.  As fortune would have it, the Marengo Caverns were an awesome detour.

The Caverns were first found by schoolchildren Blanche and Orris Hiestand in the 1800's.  What makes these caverns so interesting compared to other caves/caverns, is that they were used for the town's square dances, weddings, auctions, church sermons - anything that had a large group of people and it was too hot or too cold outside.  Touring through the caverns, you can see where hundreds of people could dance and mill around comfortably.  Many of the early townspeople's names are carved in the soft stone.

Diamond Falls
made from
Calcite deposits
and Mirror Lake
Stalactites and


Two rarer
Helictites and
Various formations
and it is rare to see
a Salamander

After this impressive deviation, we trotted into Louisville and wandered around Churchill Downs.  Gerson was raised in and around his uncle's thoroughbred horses and their training facility so visiting the Kentucky Derby site was especially anticipated by Gerson.  The museum was very enjoyable with interactive exhibits, movies, surround-sound rooms of horses racing by, photographs, actual silks worn by jockeys, radio and video of previous races, etc. 

Churchill Downs
and Gerson
Gerson's favorite
Triple Crown
Louise under the famous
Gerson in front of the
statue for the first derby
winner - Aristides
Winner's circle and
Finish Line

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